Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Saga Of The Female Mannequin (Part 2)

One day when my wife had gone to kindergarten to pick up our five-year-old daughter, I sneaked the mannequin into the bathroom, and stood her just inside the door and turned the light out.  (The following is my daughters remembrance of what happened)

Mom stopped out front to talk to Grandpa, but being a typical kid, I had to go straight to the bathroom, so she opened the front door for me and I went inside. The bathrooms in that house were side by side in a hall that ran in the middle behind the living room and between the kitchen and the bedrooms. If all the doors were closed (& they often were), that was a DARK hallway. Rushing in that day, I wasn’t paying any attention to the dark and ran into the bath, reached up to turn on the light switch and touched a face.

I honestly don’t remember exactly what happened after that, but I’m pretty sure that it involved screaming and running right back out the front door and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I had my first “accident” in years. Grandpa went in, found the mannequin and tried to calm down his scared granddaughter and shaken daughter-in-law.

Don’t remember much else; except for some comments about maybe he’d be taking a belt to his “grown” son for scaring us to death and justifications that Dad made about expecting Mom to go in to the bathroom and it wasn’t meant for me. Basically, I don’t think that made much difference to Grandpa, because scaring Mom wasn’t much better than scaring me….

I do remember that the mannequin stayed at the warehouse – in the back and that my brother and I would want to go and find it but be too scared to venture to far back there.

Election 2010

I was watching Nancy Pelosi’s demeanor on TV the other day, and it appears to me that she does not realize what just happened in the election.

She was acting just as happy as if she had won the lottery, which surprised me, as I would have expected her to be really down and out.

Now, I have been wrong before, but I do believe that that woman has lost her senses.  She is probably in need of some counseling but does not realize it.

I hope someone close to her will get her some help before she does something to herself that can’t be reversed.  This is my opinion and I am sticking with it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What To Do With Hotel Soap?

The following letters are taken from an actual incident between a London hotel and one of its guests.  The hotel ended up submitting the letters to The London Sunday Times.
Dear Maid,

Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial.  Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish.  They are in my way.

Thank you,
S. Berman
Dear Room 635,

I am not your regular maid.  She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off.  I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested.  The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind.  This leave only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soap daily.  I hope this is satisfactory.

Kathy, relief maid
Dear Maid – I hope you are my regular maid.

Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap.  When I got back to my room this evening I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet.  I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won’t need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf.  They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc.  Please remove them.

S. Berman
Dear Mr. Berman,

My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left the 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management.  I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was.  I put the Dial in the medicine cabined for your convenience.  I didn’t remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always laced inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Your regular maid,
Dear Mr. Berman,

The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this morning that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service. I have assigned a new girl to your room.  I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience.  If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention.  Call extension 1108 between 8am and 5pm.  Thank you.

Elaine Carmen
Dear Miss Carmen,

It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 7:45am and don’t get back before 5:30 or 6pm.  That’s the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night.  You were already off duty.  I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap.  The new maid you assigned me must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bathroom shelf.  In just 5 days here I have accumulate 24 little bars of soap.  Why are you doing this to me?

S. Berman
Dear Mr. Berman,

Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps.  If I can be of further assistance, case call extension 1108 between 8am and 5pm.  Thank you.

Elaine Carmen,
Dear Mr. Kensedder

My bath-size Dial is missing.  Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial.  I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.

S. Berman
Dear Mr. Berman,

I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem.  I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room.  The situation will be rectified immediately.  Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

Martin L. Kensedder
Assistant Manager

Dear Miss Carmen,

Who the hell left 54 little bars of Camay in my room?  I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap.  I don’t want 54 little bars of Camay.  I want my one damn bar of bath-size Dial.  Please give my back my bath-size Dial.

S. Berman
Dear Mr. Berman,

You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them moved.  Then you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so I personally returned them.  The 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily.  I don’t know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets.  Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays.  I don’t know where you got the idea this hotel issues bath-size Dial.  I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.

Elaine Carmen,

Dear Miss Carmen,

Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory.  As of today I possess:

On the shelf under medicine cabinet – 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2
On the Kleenex dispenser – 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3
On the bedroom dresser – 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouquet 1 stack of 4 hotel-size Ivory, and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.
Inside the medicine cabinet – 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2
In the shower soap dish – 6 Camay, very moist.
On the northeast corner  of tub – 1 Cashmere Bouquet, slightly used.
On the northwest corner of tub – 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.

Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted. Also, please advise her that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip.  May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make a excellent spot for future soap deliveries.  One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-size Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstanding.

S. Berman……………………………………………………………………

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Smoking Then and Now

One night, February 17th, 1979, I was laying in bed at the Admiral Benbow Inn, in Biloxi, Mississippi watching the Johnny Carson show.  The weather was terrible for the Gulf Coast, a very cold rain with some sleet mixed in.

As I reached over to get another cigarette, I found that I only had one left in the pack.  The only way to get some was to go to the lobby, and I was on the back side, a good little walk in the rain plus I would have to get up and get dressed. Not something that I wanted to do, but I didn't think I could wake up and not have a cigarette to light immediately.  I checked to see if I had sixty cents in change, to fit the machine they were in, and first decided to go get a pack.

Then I thought gosh I have been wanting to quit, and this looks like a good time.  So, I turned the TV off, and the lights out and went to sleep.

The next morning it was really tough but I stuck with it.  After breakfast, I grabbed a wooden toothpick to try and satisfy my nicotine craving. I chewed that toothpick, until it looked like a toothbrush.  This continued for about 3 weeks until I felt that I had won the battle.  I'll bet I chewed a cord of wood during that time.  All the time I was telling myself and others that when I turned 65, I was going to buy a pack and chain smoke them one right after the other until they were all gone.

When I did turn 65, they told me the pack of Marlboro was going to cost me $4.00 or so which scared me into giving up that idea.

You know, sixty cents a pack was wasteful, but I don't think I could ever pay that kind of price for something just to burn up and that was also very bad for your health

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Saga Of The Female Mannequin

In the sixties, I was office manager for a sales and distribution company.  We had a warehouse that stocked a large amount of grocery products and we had a couple of men working in the warehouse unloading rail cars and trucks, and then loading trucks that came by to pick up their orders.

One of the truck drivers that picked up at the warehouse, was also a friend of mine.  As he was making his rounds this one day, he found a female mannequin that had been placed in the alley by a clothing store that had burned and he asked if he could have it.

That afternoon he brought it by the warehouse when he came by to make a pickup.  It was in a large cardboard box with her legs sticking up and out of the box. Her legs were smutty, and the black high heel shoes showed they had been burned.  When our worker, a very large black man pushed his two wheel truck up into the the trailer with several cases of canned goods on it, he saw those legs sticking up, and he lost control, dropped the truck, scattering the cases of Campbell soup and he came running off the trailer, screaming there is a dead woman in there.

Thats when the fun began.

To be continuied.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Family Get-Together

Yesterday, the Third of July, my wife's side of the family had their annual family reunion at her nephew's home on the Tenn-Tom waterway between Columbus and West Point, MS.

We had quite a gathering of her spouse (me), children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sisters, cousins, nephews, and nieces. Two of our three children and their families were there which made it more the enjoyable for us.  There was absolutely too much food for the number of people on hand, and I think everyone ate too much.  I know I did.  Then it was time for the watermelon.  I sure missed the home made ice cream tho.  I just may have to make some today since this is the Fourth of July,  One of my most favorite holidays.  I don't mind the fireworks, if someone else is paying, but I could never see myself burning up my own money.

There were too many of the nephews and nieces absent this year, that we really missed seeing and hope that they will make plans to attend next time.

The waterway was full of boats, and a couple of barges, not to speak of the swimmers that were along the sides of the river enjoying the Fourth of July weekend.  Nephew Curtis, who has the home on the river, also has a ski boat that he was happy to take everyone interested in for a ride.  He made sure the kids had all the fun they could expect.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Red Tailed Hawk

This has been a sad day in the backyard.  Early this morning while my soul-mate was having coffee on the patio, a red tailed hawk that lives in the neighborhood came swooping down and feasted on a newborn mocking bird. No matter how hard the parents fought, they could not keep the hawk from its fine meal.

Of course, this really put a quite on the birds in the backyard and for the rest of the morning, there was hardly a bird to be seen.  Usually, there are close to a hundred birds twittering around at the feeders and bath enjoying the surroundings that we have made for them.  Maybe tomorrow they will come out of hiding and keep us entertained again, but for today the hawk has made "a sad day" for us, and a scary day for the birds.

If you would like to take a look at some of our bird friends, go to:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How Things Have Changed

Back in 1954, when I was a private in the United States Army, I was stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. And we had an apartment in Columbia, the adjoining town.  Being a private, I did not get many benefits, but did occasionally get a weekend pass. 

One weekend my wife and I traveled the 500 miles from Columbia to Coalfire, Alabama, our home community.  The road was a two lane winding road that went through the center of all the cities and towns along the way and usually took us about 12 hours in the 1950 Plymouth with onion skin tires on it, to make the trip.

We left Columbia about 6 p.m. on Friday afternoon, and arrived at my home about 6 a.m. Saturday morning.  After a nice home visit Saturday and Sunday, we left heading back to Columbia around 2 p.m. and arrived back in Columbia around 2 a.m.  After a couple of hours sleep I had to get up and go to the base to report for duty at 7 a.m.

During the morning hours I received a call from my Dad, telling me that my favorite Uncle had died in his sleep and he told me that he had requested an emergency pass for me to attend the funeral.  It was about 4 p.m. when I got the message that the pass had been granted, and I immediately left the base for my apartment to pick-up my wife and head back to Coalfire.  We got packed and left Columbia about 6 p.m. and knew that we both were so sleepy that it was dangerous for us to be on the road, but knew we had to go anyway.

Somewhere around 15 miles out of Columbia, we came up on a hitchhiker.  He was a white male in his mid twenties.  I pulled over and ask him where he was going, and he said he lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and was going home.  I told him if he would drive I would give him a lift to his house.  It was a good deal for us in 1954 as my wife and I immediately went to sleep with him driving, and we slept all the way to Tuscaloosa.   He woke me up in front of his house, and told me thanks for the ride. 

No way, in this day and time would I think of doing something like that.  That is how things have changed since the fifties.  I often think back of how things were back then and how people trusted people and have wondered what happened to make things get so bad.  The only thing I can think of that would bring such a drastic change in morals is the supreme courts decision “separation of church and state”.  In my mind, that sentence which is NOT in the constitution, simply meant that there would not be a state or country religion forced on the people.  That’s pretty obvious when you see that the founders had the ten commandants placed in and on many of the government building.  I think that the teachers not being able to teach any Christian values to the children these days is what brought all this on.  That is a terrible change to make, just to make a few towel heads and other atheists feel comfortable.  That is my opinion, what’s yours?

Sunday, April 11, 2010


After watching a good bit of the Republican Southern Leadership Conference held in New Orleans this week-end, I came to some conclusions on my own as to who the next President of the United States should be.

I know that the straw poll picked Romney and Paul with Palin and Gingrich close behind, but I saw a different leader.  "Haley Barbour",  Governor of the State of Mississippi.  Governor Barbour having served as Chairman of the Republican Party for several years established himself as as a leader of all the people, and became familier with all of the problems facing "we the people" during his term. Not like Obama, who never ran anything, Governor Barbour as had many years of running a state government and has done it with excellent results. But the biggest plus for him is, HE HAS COMMON SENSE to go along with his educational sense.

Well, thats my opinion and I wonder what yours?  Leave a comment.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Four Nurses & Me

Several years ago, I did some typing for some of the students at Mississippi State University for Women. One such case, there were four nursing students that had me type their papers for them, and they said they needed them the next Friday afternoon. Which I told them I could manage.

On that Friday morning while brushing my partial, it broke in two pieces.  I immediately went to the Dentist to get them repaired, and he told me he could not have them ready before Monday.  

When the girls called to see about a time to come over to proof read and pick up the papers, I told them what had happened and that we would have to postpone them getting the papers until Monday afternoon. They then told me that they had to turn the papers in that afternoon.  So, I told them to come on over, but if they started laughing at my looks, we would discontinue the proof reading and they could take them as they were.

I decided to tie a handkerchief around my face to eliminate their seeing my empty mouth, and when they arrived we went right to work, two girls on each side of me at the computer.  About half way through proofing the article, the doorbell rang and one of the girls on the outside said she would get the door. Well, it was my pastor and when he came in, I had forgotten about having the handkerchief on my face.  He ask one question and then immediately left.  It was after he left that I realized that I had the white handkerchief on my face.

I caught up with him the next day, and explained why things were like they were.  We had a good laugh and he told me that this was going to be a chapter in his book when he wrote it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Possum Town

To enlighten some of you as to why I am "The Bishop of Possum Town" instead of "The Bishop of something else", maybe the picture will do the job.

I understand that one of the early settlers of this area, Spirus Roach, who came to this area around 1817, and built a tavern, was an old gray, bent over man that reminded the local Indians of an opossum so they began to call the settlement Possum Town.  And that is how it got its name.  Actually, there are quite a few possums in this area so; the above could be an old tale. Anyway, in 1821 the North Carolina and Virginia immigrants that followed the original settlers to this area to grow cotton on the Black Prairie fertile soil showed their dislike for the name Possum Town, and renamed it Columbus.  It is also called "The Friendly City".

So,  living here, and having the name of Bishop, I naturally should be the "Bishop of Possum Town".  At least that is the way I see it.  If you see it different, please leave a comment.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ham Radio

Most of my ham radio friends have had their licenses much longer than me.  I am a relatively young ham, having received my ticket in March of 1993.  I did have a novice license back in 1965, but was unable to advance, and it expired in 1966.

Then in the later part of 1993, almost thirty years later, a local ham persuaded me to try for it again, stating that the test was much easier, and that you did not have to draw diagrams or schematics of the different radio items.  Since I took my test , the written test are even easier to pass, and now you do not have to take a morris code test at all.

I have really enjoyed this 17 years in the hobby, and have met some really fine people.  Some I have met in person, and some I only know from talking to them on the radio during one of the two times we meet each day to chat. These chats are called QSO's, and somewhere between two of us and a dozen or so meet each day from 6:30am until 8:00am and again from 6:00pm until 6:50pm.

Our group is very conservative and we do a lot of talking about politics.  I'm surprised that some of them have not ran for something. It may happen.  Also, we do discuss our radio equipment and antenna's quite a bit.  Of course the conversations can run about anything anyone wants to bring up.  Long live ham radio.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Ghosts of Coal Fire

This little story is about a village named Coal Fire, in Pickens, County, Alabama. It’s located on U.S. highway 82, East of the point where Coldfire Creek crosses under the highway. The village is named after the creek that runs by it, even though the spelling was different. Over the years, the spelling of the creek's name was changed to Coal Fire, which is how the village name is spelled. The creek rises in the Southwest corner of Fayette County, and runs Southwestwardly through Lamar County, and Pickens County, emptying into the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway about three miles North of Pickensville.

There is a story as to the way this creek got its name. “In the early days of settler's coming to this area of Alabama from Tennessee, the actual date being unknown, it is said that some immigrants in mid-winter, forded this stream on a very cold day. They were cold when they rode their horses up to the creek, even colder as they rode through the water, but became warm after they got across it. Going through the cold water produced a reaction and warmth, or heat was the consequence. They, therefore called it cold-fire”.
But, this village was not always called Coal Fire. As it was told to me, it had its beginning, when some of the early settlers begin calling it Fundee, after one of the first settlers in that area, named Uriah Funderburk. The date of this happening is not known and no one knows just when the name was changed to Coal Fire.

Another family that settled there very early was the Bonners. They settled the area near the overhead bridge that spanned the M & O Railroad. They received a land grant deed for their property signed by The President of the United States of America.

Another early settler there was my Grandfather Warren Samuel Davidson, who was married to Martha Jane Bonner they moved to Coal Fire from Oakman, Alabama via Franklin County, Mississippi where he lived for a couple of years. He bought one acre of land around 1877 near where the late Buck Bonner's home was, and that is where he built a shack, and raised his first family. He lived there until around 1902, when he moved his family to Stafford, Arizona because his wife Martha Jane became ill with tuberculosis and she needed to be in the dry air of the Arizona dessert. She died in Stafford AZ in 1904 and soon after, Mr. Davidson moved back to Coal Fire and brought all his children with him except for one son and one daughter who had married and stayed out West.

On March 4, 1909, he married my Grandmother, Annie Lou Estes, and then on March 23, 1910, he purchased 33 acres of land in the heart of the village from D. H. Vail, and L. C. Vail. The neighbors surrounding him at this time were, Jim Sanders who owned the land to the South, John Bonner who owned the land to the East, and H. Blackledge who owned the land to the West. The North side of the land was bordered by the public road. The M & O Railroad, which was completed in 1898, ran through the land he purchased and divided it with approximately 60 feed being south of the railroad. He immediately began to clear and farm this land, and did so until his death in 1931. There was a sawmill located on the West side of the dirt road that turned south toward Carrollton, on the north side of the railroad, that belonged to a Mr. R. G. Jones. Sam Davidson worked at this sawmill some of the time when he was not farming his land. It was at this sawmill that Ben Davidson, son of Sam Davidson let a log roll on his leg and crush the bone. He had to have it amputated, and he wore a peg leg from then on. There was another sawmill on down that dirt road across the railroad tracks, on the East side that was owned by a Mr. Blackman.

It was told to me in my childhood, that the people of the area wanted a post office, but they could not get one for the settlement named Fundee, for whatever reason, so they had to change the name. Just who was responsible for naming it Coal Fire is not known, but they did get their post office. For several years, it was located in the commissary building of Dill & Curtis Lumber Co, which was located at the top of the hill on highway 82 at the junction of the road that went south to Carrollton. A gentlemen named John T. Abrams, was appointed Postmaster. He had moved to Coal Fire from Reform, where he had worked at Stringfellows General Mercantile Store. Mr. Abrams, moved into a new house that Dill & Curtis Lumber Co., had built for him. It was located next to the house that the late Bruce Darling lived in. Mr. Abrams was the only Postmaster that Coal Fire, Alabama ever had. Later Mr. Abrams built his own store just south of the commissary, and moved the post office to his new location. It remained there until Dill & Curtis moved their sawmill operation out of the area, at which time Mr. Abrams purchased the commissary building and moved back into it. He operated a general mercantile store at this location until his death in 1945. Between the commissary building and Mr. Abrams new store was the offices of a Dr. Smothers, who was the company doctor for Dill & Curtis. Across the dirt road from Dr. Smothers office, stood the offices for Dill & Curtis. I mention here that this was a dirt road, so at this point, I should also say that highway 82 was at that time a dirt road that wound around every hill and by every little shack of a house in both directions, toward Reform, to the East, and Columbus, Mississippi to the West. It was not until the late 30's that highway 82 was built and later paved. Convict labor was used to build the highway, and a detention camp was set up near McShan to keep the prisoners in at night. It was because of the widening of the dirt road in 1937-38, to build highway 82, that several of the structures, in the village, had to be moved back to allow for the right of way, including the house my Grandfather had built. As a child, it seemed to take half a day to travel in the old T-model Ford the 30 some odd miles to Columbus, and with the road turning as it did with all those curves, it also made a child nauseated, which was no fun. And even though there may have been a ice cream cone or candy bar waiting at the end of the journey, it was still a hard decision to make to go on the trip.

Getting back to the story, Mr. Dill, one of the owners of the lumber company never moved to the Coal Fire community. He continued to live in Tuscaloosa. However Mr. N. S. Curtis, did live there, and his home was located on the south side of what is now highway 82, on the west side of the creek. The sawmill at that time had a railroad spur running from the M & O Railroad north to the sawmill, and then continuing on north for several miles. This was the means they had for getting logs out of the woods and delivered down to the sawmill. Some of the concrete foundations for the sawmill are still to be found north of the new four-lane highway that runs through Coal Fire today.

The house where Bruce Darling lived, and another house built exactly the same that sit next to it, belonged to the mill. A Mr. Howell, who was the sawyer for the mill lived in the house Bruce Darling lived in, and as stated earlier, Mr. Abrams lived in the house next to it. Mr. Abrams built a house on the North side of the Reform-Columbus road and then a Mr. McIntyre, who was the saw-filer for the mill moved into his mill house.

Mentioning Bruce Darling, he and Robert Oliver were hitch-hiking through the area in the early 1930’s on their way from Wyoming and decided to try to get a job at the mill. Both were hired, but Robert Oliver only stayed a short time and then moved on, but Bruce Darling continued to work there for a while, and married a local girl, Mamie Burgess, daughter of Lonzo and Lula Burgess who had their home just south of Blackman's sawmill. Bruce later went to work for the steel mill industry in the Birmingham area, but continued to live in Coal Fire and commuted to work from there.

Dill & Curtis's mill prospered for several years, and provided employment for many of the residents of the area, some walking as many as 3 to 4 miles to work each day. Just a few of the employees were:

     Tommy T. Sparks                                   Tony Davidson
     Bunyan Burgess (Office manager)            Otis Burgess
     Webb Hester                                          Bruce Darling
     Robert Oliver                                          Walter Williams
     Fletcher Bell                                            Bob Bell

The community was thriving so, that the residents decided they needed a school house, and Uriah Funderburk and Sam Davidson, my Grandfather each gave one acre of land to the state for the purpose of a school house. This schoolhouse stood several years until it burned down. (I was told that some boys were smoking in the back of the two room building and the fire started from there). The schoolhouse was rebuilt after that and school continued to be taught there for a period of time until the students were transferred to the Reform School. During the years school was taught there, the building was used for church services on Sundays. One Sunday each month a preacher would come and hold preaching service. He usually came by horse and buggy, or sometime on the doodlebug, (the small passenger train that ran through there). On the other Sundays of the month, there would only be Sunday School held. In 1940, 13 local citizens got together and formed Coal Fire Baptist Church. These charter members were: Judge Iverson Bonner, his wife Blanch Bonner, Mamie Darling, Vera Bonner, Linnis Bonner, Pauline Bates, Linton & Burton Burgess, Tom Collier, his wife Carrie Collier, Lynwood Bryant and Mr. & Mrs. J. L. Bryant. The state deeded the property to the deacons of Coal Fire Baptist Church on November 20, 1945. Mr. Bunyan Burgess had the school house rebuilt after the fire destroyed the original building, and then donated that building to Coal Fire Baptist Church, when the state deeded the land to them.

In 1927, Mr. Dill & Mr. Curtis, decided to dismantle and move the sawmill to Florida. When they did , Mr. Bunyan Burgess and also his son and daughter-in-law, Otis and Clair Burgess moved to Florida with it. They didn't remain there very long, and came back to Coal Fire where Otis operated the old mercantile store for several years and then built a new cement block building that he moved the store into, and tore down the old wooden building.
Sunday School meeting at Coalfire School

Dill & Curtis Sawmill

Mr. & Mrs. Funderburk

Three Coalfire Neighbors

Mrs. Nell (Bell) Keating

Monday, February 22, 2010

Genealogy and the Census

With this being the year of the census, it started me to thinking. In the year 2080 this information will become available for public viewing. I hope when the census takers come around to your house, that you will give them acurate information about the people living in your house. That is, the correct names, ages, and places of birth. That info will be a valuable tool to a geanelogist that is fighting to finish filling out thier ancestry.

As far as the census of the 1900's, go, they alot of time were filled with incorrect information. From one census to the next, people would change thier names, or lie about thier age. This would naturally confuse someone looking for where a person was at a given time. I'm sure that when they gave the census taker the information, they never realized 70 years later one of thier decendants would be searching the records trying to make sense out of what little info they have.

One of the great problems with genealogy, is that when a person is young, they are not interested in asking their grandparents questions about thier ancesters, and then when they have grown old, THERE IS NO ONE TO ASK.

Ask your questions now so that won't happen to you.